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A boy in pain touching her cheeks

Tooth pain is never fun and can cause a lot of disruption in your daily life. Some conditions are due to wear and tear, while others are the result of poor cleaning, diet, or physical trauma (past or present). Whatever, the reason, you will want to have it examined as soon as possible.

Mild tooth pain can usually be managed at home, but more severe pain should get checked as the tooth, and surrounding area may be damaged or infected.

Common Symptoms

Even though your tooth may feel pain, it might be the surrounding gums and tissue which are the problem. In all cases, the following symptoms usually appear and lead to a visit to the dentist:

  • A sharp pain, that doesn’t go away
  • Swelling, painful gums
  • An unpleasant taste in your mouth
  • Sensitive to HOT temperatures
  • Sharp, electrical like localized pain to chewing

In the case of moderate to severe pain, the above symptoms might be accompanied by a headache and a lack of motivation to do anything other than reach for the painkillers.

Common Culprits of Teeth Pain

The teeth and gums are full of very sensitive nerve endings that react badly to certain substances. It varies from person-to-person, but the usual suspects include:

  • Cold drinks and food: Usually this means that the tooth has exposed root surfaces, active day or night clenching/grinding of teeth or that acidic foods are active in your diet. Fluoride treatments, night guards, bite adjustments, or Laser therapy usually solves the problem. Current X-Rays are necessary.
  • Foods high in sugar: Sensitivity to sugar consumption can be an early indicator of a cavity progressing into the nerve of the tooth. X-Rays assist with diagnosis.
  • Hot drinks and hot food sensitivity: It can be an indicator that you have a tooth that is dying. X-Rays are usually recommended to see if infection at the root has manifested.
  • Biting/chewing sensitivity: can often indicate that an enamel crack has progressed toward the nerve of the tooth. X-rays, bite adjustments, and crowns can help to preserve teeth with this condition.

Also, you can feel pain if you bite down on something hard, such as a seed, or if you grind your teeth. In both these cases, oral hygiene is unlikely to protect your teeth from chips and cracks. As you get older, your teeth will suffer from wear-and-tear, and chips are ubiquitous.

Things Your Dentist Will Spot During the Check-up

Tooth Decay – A defect of the enamel that is caused by bacteria eating away the surface of the tooth.

Cavities – If tooth decay is allowed to grow, then holes will start to appear in the teeth

Chips – They vary in size, and you might not even know about them until you’re in the dentist’s chair.

Receding Gums – This can naturally happen as you get older or as a result of teeth not being balanced and coming together correctly (occlusion), or gum disease. Either way, you are likely to have sensitive teeth.


The best treatment is good oral hygiene, which ensures your teeth and gums remain healthy. Cleaning, flossing, and rinsing alongside a healthy diet will reduce the risk of cavities and the need for fillings.

Your dentist and hygienist can repair and remove the causes of tooth decay and plaque/tartar build-up. However, it is important to note, that once decay starts it doesn’t stop advancing. The bacteria remain active until it is removed. If the decay reaches the center pulp of the tooth, root canal or tooth loss is possible.

Chips and Cracked Teeth are unfortunately unavoidable and can sometimes happen out of the blue. Minor chips won’t require much work, but the large-scale damage may need a root canal and a dental crown.

All we can recommend is to be conscientious of what you’re eating (NO ICE) and chew your food carefully.

Don’t suffer tooth pain needlessly

Most cases of tooth pain are easily solved if they are treated early; however, a lot of patients endure the pain and let things get much worse. This is highly unnecessary, so if you are suffering from tooth pain give us a call to get advice today.